Monday, July 12, 2010

We LOVE the Beach!

There's just something about going to the beach. This was the 9th year my folks hosted the reunion at the beach at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The girls can only think "When?" as in When do cousins arrive? When do we leave? When can we walk to the beach? When can we swim in the pool?

I always anticipate the first journey to the water's edge: making the short walk from our beach house, onto the boardwalk, and up and over the bridge on the dune to the hot sand and that first dip in the Atlantic. This year, it was a warm welcome!

The surf was quite lively, which made for great times for the kids and slightly tense times for those life-guarding on the coast.

It wasn't all that long ago when they were so afraid of the ocean that they wouldn't venture in at all! Now, with board fastened to wrist, it's hard to get them out. (Note CJ's new profile picture.)

But, the temperature of the water did change for the cooler.

My niece appears to be smiling, but she's actually rather upset that she got caught in a cold wave!

Fortunately, there were lots of opportunities to enjoy the beach outside of going in for a dip.

R led the sand castle-building.

CJ got to be a sandy stegosaurus.

We had one 24-hour rainy period, which was a nice break in the week, actually. The kids were all too happy to play games, Pokemon Monopoly being one of the most popular of the trip.

The littler girls--who are getting all too big--had a doll fest on the top floor and a 2nd one on the bottom floor.

RJ2 earned the new title of "Dog Whisperer"

Card games enjoyed a resurgence, especially solitaire and a shorter-form game called Dutch Blitz.

Grandma taught CJ how to shuffle and "make a bridge."

Last year, we ventured out for a nature trail experience. Since some of the group didn't get a chance to go last year, and those of us who did go didn't finish out the full trail, we decided to go back.

We actually managed to miss a trail marker on the trip back to the cars, so the kids got a lesson in what to do when you get "lost." Two of the three grown-ups took the trail in opposite directions to figure out which way we needed to go. Upon reuniting, we explained to the kids what a great opportunity we had just had in learning about how easily mistakes happen on the trail, even one as well-marked as this one.

We started out again, only to make the exact same mistake. "And just in case you missed the lesson the first time...." (We laid branches in the place that looked like the trail to close off the alternate route.)

Plenty of other silly stuff....

Cups, for instance.

And plenty of the same old thing--

Like delicious family-cooked theme dinners, topped only by ice cream bar treats, special desserts and very special coffee....

Late-night cards with Mom and Dad, complete with strange iPod mixes and yummy chocolates....

Colored-day clothing and late-night tie-dyeing....

Saturday morning check-out breakfast in which everything goes, including the last night's leftover pizza and ice cream, deli meat, cookies, cereal, salsa, whatever....

Volleyball on the back court. Wimbledon on the TV court ("Hey, who turned on the TV?!")....

And sisters on the beach....

For the most part, it was as if the sky were smiling down upon us.

And a grand time was had by all!

1 comment:

Kelly Combs said...

My favorite photo is always sisters on the beach. But looks like a wonderful time! So glad. Can't wait to hear more.

Maybe a dog in your future, for the whisperer?